Nine stories adapted from early (c. 1900) ethnic collections are presented in the simple, spacious format of Tales from, the Story Hat and similarly geared to younger readers. In content, however, they are somewhat less intriguing. Two involve rather distasteful episodes (a greedy spider removing too much fat from around a cow's heart; much fetching and carrying of a lion cub's corpse); another hinges on an implausibility (a spider consuming one hundred crocodile eggs without a bulge); still another, the familiar attempt to disprove a liar, succeeds in wresting an admission from him only under duress. Most, however, turn on trickery of one sort or another--a practical joke in the case of the caterpillar who holds on to Tricksy Rabbit's house by faking a big scary voice (in ""The Long One,"" a funny episodic tale). Equally a fraud is the lioness who almost gets to keep four kidnapped ostrich chicks because the other animals are afraid to say they're not her own. Ib Ohlsson's drawings make the most of the incongruity, and his fiendish zimwi, hirsute and horned, is also good for a laugh. An up-and-down collection then, replete with incident, and authentic if not appetizing in its grislier moments.